Aviation Minister: The PLP contracted Bahamas Hot Mix on several occasions

Aviation Minister: The PLP contracted Bahamas Hot Mix on several occasions
Tourism & Aviation minister Dionisio D'Aguilar (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Despite concerns expressed by the Opposition about the recent million dollar contract awarded to Bahamas Hot Mix to carry out work at the Lynden Pindling International Airport, the former administration has also contracted the company on several occasions, said Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

“This morning the chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party was very disingenuous in his comments about this [contract] being an attempt by the minister of financial services to make more money.  When we put this out to bid, only one Bahamian company responded,” D’Aguilar told reporters before heading to Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

“I needed more Bahamian companies to bid, but only one responded, and so what I want to say is building a runway is a very technical piece of real estate and a very technical piece of asphalt, and we need mechanisms in place to constantly check and recheck.”

Bahamas Hot Mix was recently awarded a $20 million contract to carry out rehabilitation work on the Lynden Pindling International Airport runway and taxiway.

Yesterday, D’Aguilar said in 2015 when the PLP wanted to extend the runway in Bimini, they used Bahamas Hot Mix and they also contracted the company during this same period to fix the runway in Staniel Cay, Exuma.

“In 2004 to 2006, when major runway work was done at LPIA, the PLP used a foreign company.

They did such a substandard job that remedial work had to be redone on that runway in 2009 in order for Virgin to bring their 747 here. Who did they use to do the remedial work…Bahamas Hot Mix, so they are the premiere company when it comes to runways,” the aviation minister said.

“It is very, very technical job and we hired a consulting company and a world-renowned consulting company to put together the proposal, put it out to bid, and there were three international bids and one Bahamian and the Bahamian company was quite far the best,” D’Aguilar said.

A statement released Sunday from NAD outlined that over the past year, internationally recognized independent pavement consulting company, Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder), was contracted to work closely with NAD’s Airside Operations & Public Safety team and to conduct pre-engineering, design, tender preparations and contract administration services for the runway rehabilitation project.

NAD said that in April 2019, it initiated a Request for Tenders (RFT) to six qualified companies (four international and two Bahamian firms) to submit bids for asphalt paving services for the project.

According to NAD, a total of four bids were received and submitted to the independent pavement consultant for evaluation including three international companies (United States, Canada and Costa Rica) and one Bahamian firm.

“After all of the bids were carefully evaluated, Golder recommended that the contract be awarded to Bahamian asphalt paving company Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM),” NAD said, adding that it was determined that the company submitted the most competitive bid and met all of the specifications required to complete the project in the most efficient, cost effective and timely manner.

Bahamas Hot Mix has successfully delivered Runway Projects at the following airports: Marsh Harbour -2006, Norman’s Cay – 2013, Bimini -2015, Staniel Cay -2015, Hog Cay -2016, and Grand Bahama International Airport -2016.

In addition, in 2009, BHM would have successfully remediated significant paving works on LPIA’s main runway (14/32) after its reconstruction from 2004-2006.